Getting Hands-On: Guilds for Practical Skills

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Illustration by gully

Want to get hands-on and learn some new practical skills? Need to get your Habitica set-up optimised to remind you to get that DIY done, or want to talk with some like-minded folks? Here are some guilds to help you in that endeavour!

Makers of HabiticaThis guild is aimed at Makers of all stripes — food innovations, crafts, DIY, home improvement, programming, gadgets, sustainability… so you can be pretty sure of finding some like-minded people if you join here.

The Urban Homesteader’s GuildIf you’re looking to do things the old-fashioned way, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an old-hand or new to the idea: this guild is here for you! Make sure to check out the challenges, too.

DIYers, Crafters, Sewing, anything creativeThis guild has been quiet lately, but they’re a friendly crowd — maybe it’s time to start a new conversation there!

That’s all for this month. Make sure to check out the companion Use Case Spotlight as well, with lots of tips from other hands-on users.

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Coalitions of the Quick-Witted: Guilds for Training your Brain

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Illustration by RoseMonkey

Hello Habiticans! The summer is heating up and many students are enjoying their summer break from school. Even though classes may not be in session, it’s a great month to think about challenging your brain with puzzles, games, and new knowledge! Here are just a few of the Guilds in Habitica dedicated to sharpening your intellect and expanding your knowledge.

Habitica’s Court Jesters: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/fddaeafc-125c-4b43-a339-14c1d37634e8

Habitica’s Court Jesters is a Guild dedicated to jokes, riddles, and other witty and humorous media. Maybe it’s surprising that a Guild for jokes is on this list, but there’s a high correlation between problem-solving ability and having a good sense of humor. Plus, a good laugh is always healthy for your mind, body and soul!

Sedulous Sesquipedalians: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/8302e17b-e2b6-419b-bd7a-c1983f2c318b

Learning new words is a great method for challenging your mind and improving your communication skills! Sedulous Sesquipedalians is the perfect place to expand your vocabulary- check out the Guild chat for folks sharing the exhilirating vocables they’ve discovered.

Creative Minds: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/00b0eff0-85bd-402a-bd38-33f507624dfa

Creative activities are another fantastic way to keep your mind active and learn new skills and information. You’ll find all types of imaginative Habiticans chatting in this Guild, and there are some exciting Challenges to help get your creative juices flowing!

Puzzling People: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/330c4c91-8513-43ba-b0bc-b093ebda7573

This Guild is here for puzzle-loving Habiticans of all types! Pop into the Guild chat to discuss your favorite puzzles, riddles, and brain-teasers.

These Guilds and many, many others are here to give you lots of fun ideas for keeping your mind sharp and active!  Until next time, take care. ❤

Use Case Spotlight: Training your Brain

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Illustration by RoseMonkey

Hello Habiticans! Last month we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica to manage parenting and family matters. This month we’re exploring ideas for training your brain and sharpening your mind with the help of Habitica’s Tasks, Challenges, and social spaces. These great tips come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Miechelle starts us out by using Habitica as a reminder for their educational apps and books:

I have as dailies my Lumosity session, my Duolingo session, my Khan session and then at least a paragraph in each of the [educational] books I am reading which range from a Grimoire to Getting Things Done to The Power of When – I am always trying to improve my mind and myself – I think it is the point of it all. I used to have to try and remember all this in my ADD brain and honestly I have progressed a lot once I started using Habitica to keep my checklists and get my ticks 🙂

Fox_Town points us to a fun Guild to help with memorization and expand your poetry knowledge!

I co-run the “Rhyme Commando” guild, where we have a running monthly challenge to memorize a poem. I still know by heart the poems I learned as a schoolkid, but it isn’t something I’d thought to do in years. I like the experience of both setting the text of a poem in my head, and also spending the month thinking about one poem, because I usually end up coming to a few new realizations about the language or the structure just by returning to it again and again. And with luck when I’m old, I’ll always have a few poems to reflect on whenever I”m stuck somewhere without a book.:)

Gumnos notes the importance of storing To-Do lists outside your brain to keep your memory free for other information:

I use Habitica both to challenge my brain and save my brain energies for other things.

For challenging it, I have dailies that force me out of my brain’s natural comfort zone (like thanking complete strangers) and hand-writing letters to grandparents. I’ll also create projects for myself to expand my programming skills (I give myself various personal coding challenges and landmarks along the way for them)

For preserving it, most of my To Do list consists of checklists I’ve offloaded so I don’t have to hold them in my brain and possibly forget them.

Dan O’Dea gives some other great examples for using Habitica to train your brain!

The most obvious way to challenge your brain is to learn something new every day. So…

  • Habitica has a guild called Today I learned… where people share things they learned. The guild leader requires posts provide sources for the learning so you can follow the links and see for yourself.
  • Build a habit or a daily task to read something, Google something you heard, or likewise add something to your knowledge.
  • Create a to-do, complete with a checklist, to learn a new skill. Of course, you can also add habits and dailies to this. For example, I have a to-do every month to draw some new thing (trees, faces, roads) and practice a technique (e.g., one-point perspective) and a daily habit to support that, such as “Draw one scene from work, my town, or a reference picture using one-point perspective”.

There are several guilds in Habitica for learning new languages, skills, and the like. Check them out – in fact, create a to-do to do just that.

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

And lastly, be sure to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups for puzzles, riddles, and other ways to train your brain!!

It’s the Little Things: Tiny Pet and Mount Pics from Habitica’s April Fool’s Celebration

Habiticans enjoyed yet another April 1st marked by silly pixel antics this year! This time, the April Fool assured us he’d “keep it small.” Little did we know his nefarious prank would indeed be shrinking some of our favorite things in Habitica: our pets and mounts!

As part of a special Challenge to mark the occasion, many Habiticans shared their  avatars with their newly miniaturized friends on social media! Here are just a few of the many awesome pics you all posted as part of the Challenge!

First, here are the entries from our Challenge Winners!

Al Lith
Al Lith is ready for battle with their itty bitty (but very shady!) Cactus and Ferret!
Frar of the Lonely Mountain
Frar of the Lonely Mountain‘s Hippogriff is suddenly quite overwhelmed by that sack of loot.
Koliz
Here’s Koliz and the Order of the Teensy Phoenix
Garwinna
Luckily for mighty Garwinna, the Skeleton Cactus’s intimidation factor is hardly diminished by its small size.
Meakuel
Meakuel‘s Penguin is SO CUTE but maybe should be a little worried about being carried off by butterflies.

 

A few of Habitica’s mods and staff may have had just a bit too much fun:

notabug
Beffymaroo can’t resist a classic art reference.
shanaqui
“Habitica has never illustrated my life quite so well before!,” exclaims shanaqui.

 

And here are some more of our favorite entries! There were so many great ones, it was hard to choose just a few to feature here.

Epic
“Just a regular fancyman with his tiny friends,” says Epic.
claudia, Evil Overmom
claudia, Evil Overmom, has news for the Fool: “The April Fool is supposed to make trouble, but instead he granted my wish for a slug pet too tiny to threaten my tulip-y gorgeousness! The joke’s on you, April Fool!”
skasha
skasha has an urgent message! “My dragons were annoyed about it right up until they realized they could dive into my rainbow sherbet head first. Now everything is sticky. … Send help.”
Nyctereutes
What are these, pets for ants?! Nyctereutes exclaims.
kkgmt
kkgmt notes, “Though she be little, she is fierce!”

 

Citrusella favored us with three unique looks, and one interesting experiment with a css style!

 

Folks in the Costume Carnival Guild also had a lot of fun with the mini-pets and mounts:

Drexxis
Drexxis makes it springy (but with a touch of spookiness) in the Skeleton Skin.
tangerinequartzfox
TangerineQuartzFox is: THE FROZEN GUARDIAN OF THE MICROGRIFFS!
Poirot
Poirot‘s frog is determined to be the best mount it can be, despite its small stature.

 

 

Lalaitha gave us two looks: Tiny Bees! And Crocheted Hippo Plushie Time!

We had so much fun bringing you more of the April Fool’s goofy antics this year! We’re glad you had as much fun as we did. Stay tuned to see what that delightful joker is up to next April 1!

 

Your Photobombed Party Pics with the April Fool!

Habiticans enjoyed yet another April 1st marked by silly pixel antics this year! The April Fool himself turned Habitica into the Distraction Discotheque and Dazzle Dance Emporium, a sparkly place filled with exciting distraction! Even the NPC’s were not immune…

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Disco Daniel!
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Matt the Beat Master!
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The Sensational Sorceress!

Best of all, the April Fool decided to have a dance party with each and every Habitican! As part of a special Challenge to mark the occasion, many Habiticans  shared their photobombed avatars on social media! Here are just a few of the many awesome pics with the April Fool you all posted as part of the Challenge!


Here are the pictures from the Challenge Winners!

Tousled SmileTousled Smile had a grand time with the Fool on a sunny porch!

Lalaitha

Lalaitha cautions, “The April Fool took over the beehive!”

CaptivatingLight

CaptivatingLight notes, “The April Fool’s hair matches my avatar quite well, I think.”

Anna Lilliman

Anna Lilliman has a new friend, but her Dragon looks less amused.

Acquafortis Fortis

Acquafortis Fortis says, “It was a pleasure having you in the photo, as they say Fools never differ….”


And here are some more of our favorite photobombs! There were so many great ones, it was hard to choose just a few to feature here.

Accio Books

Accio Books! says, “Looks like the April Fool is messing with gravity!”

Fintastical

Fintastical’s Flying Pig appears confused about the April Fool’s definition of “shade.”

FireBirdy

In a major political shakeup, the April Fool appears to have elected Firebirdy as his court jester!

Kirin

Meanwhile, Kirin and the April Fool match nicely in shades of gold…

peoii

… and peoii seems to have just warned the Fool in the nick of time to get out of the line of cannon fire!

QueenWolf

QueenWolf and the Royal Purple Wolf here aren’t quite sure what to make of this Fool, but he does sort of match their outfits, so he’s probably all right.
Tiffany Sostar
Tiffany Sostar knows her Shimmer Fox Mount probably shouldn’t have cotton candy, but it’s a special occasion!


Even the Habitica Staff and Moderators weren’t immune to the Fool’s antics!

beffymaroo_AF
Beffymaroo had unexpected company in the sunflower garden!

SabreCat

SabreCat found the Fool’s kindness to animals quite touching: “My octopus mount is taken aback by the Fool’s sweet romantic gesture.”

shanaqui

shanaqui is an expert at wrangling foolish antics around Habitica, so they were ready: “As befits a moderator, looks like I’m gonna catch that April Fool!”

Breadstrings

Breadstrings decided a Harry Potter themed cosplay was in order, and dressed as Professor McGonagall while the Fool aptly played the role of Peeves!


Last (but certainly not least!!), Vandraren treated us to some wonderful photobomb fanart featuring perhaps the cutest-ever zombie battle!

Vandraren

We had so much fun bringing you the April Fool’s goofy antics! We’re glad you had as much fun as we did. Stay tuned to see what that delightful joker is up to next year!

BEHIND THE SCENES: How We Coordinate Work Through Meetings

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

We get a surprising number of questions about how the Habitica team gets stuff done! While we all use Habitica to manage our personal tasks, a lot of what we do is too big for any one person to manage by themselves. Here’s a primer on how staff and contributors coordinate work and collaborate at HabitRPG, Inc.

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Remote Work and an LA Nucleus

If you’ve been following the team at all, you’ve probably noticed that while Lemoness and redphoenix are based in Los Angeles, the rest of the team chimes in from time zones across the world. This is in large part because Habitica’s roots are in open source, where non-co-located collaboration is the default. However, we’ve also learned to institute some working structure so that we can keep pushing out improvements on a regular basis! Some of the strategies we’ve found useful are daily standup meetings, weekly updates, and regular in-person meetings.

Daily Standup for Structure: The Full Time Team

Every day at 11 am Pacific (that’s 7pm UTC!) we have a thirty minute “standup” meeting for the full time staff members. Standups are fairly typical in the tech industry, but Habitica does them a little differently. We use the time to update each other on what we’re doing for that day, including flagging stuff that needs intervention or assistance from another staff member, and then finish out the meeting with “picks.” (More on those later.) Basically, we’re each others’ accountability buddies.

As the team gets larger and it gets more difficult to constrain ourselves to 30 minutes or a single time slot, we may start experimenting with a rotating standup meeting or a split standup depending on teams. We’re still small enough that adding a new person to the mix changes the dynamic, so we’re definitely still in the experimental phase as far as figuring what works best for everyone involved!

Weekly Sync-up

Of course, Habitica also relies on a core team of part time contractors in addition to full time staff. A weekly check in on major projects helps us make sure that things keep moving forward. As with the Daily Standup meetings, picks are allowed and encouraged!

So what are “Picks”?

Picks are basically show-and-tell–each team member gets to share with the group something that they’re inspired by, excited about, or that they recommend to at least one other member of the group. Because picks aren’t necessarily work related and they happen on a daily basis, occasionally they’ll veer into tentative or lukewarm reviews (“I am not sure about this TV series that I just started watching”) or even anti-picks (“goat milk in coffee is really not recommended”). Over time, picks become a really good way to get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. For example, viirus really likes Legos.

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L to R: paglias, Lemoness, SabreCat, and TheHollidayInn, on a walk near our office!

In-person meetings

Some discussions are better had in person, even if you’re a team full of introverts. One thing we’re currently trying out is holding team retreats more regularly. Team members can get some face time with each other, not just FaceTime. We try to do at least one afternoon/evening of non-work activity so that we get to know each other outside of a work context, but also have a big project or discussion scheduled that would particularly benefit from being discussed with everyone in a room. So far these have proved super valuable for everyone to get on the same page and air any concerns that might otherwise get swept under the rug during day-to-day operations.

Separately from the team, Lemoness and redphoenix meet in-person at least once or twice a week, along with any team members in town for work or pleasure. We generally host out of our coworking space two blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, nearby some great restaurants and some really good cookies.

…Ok, maybe the questions about how we work aren’t so surprising. Given that we’re a productivity company, people do expect us to set an example for how to be more productive! We also spend a lot of time thinking about how to maintain peak performance, since we’ve learned from hard experience that long term sustainability is more difficult than “just work harder and longer.”Everyone’s a bit different, though, so in future blog posts we’ll be sharing strategies that work for each individual member of the team. Stay tuned!

Simplify Your Digital Life: May Challenge Spotlight!

Hello Habiticans! We’re excited to bring you a new and revamped Challenge Spotlight feature, featuring challenges created and submitted by you, the community! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.

In The Basics Guild: The Monthly K.I.S.S.

Starts on: May 1
Ends on: May 31
Repeating challenge? Yes

ArynChris describes this challenge as “Helping fellow Habiticans to shrink their tasklists from overwhelming to manageable, permanently.

In the Life Hackers Guild: Limit Screen/TV Time

Starts on: Launched now, but starts on June 1st
Ends on: June 30
Repeating challenge? Yes

Janelle Rowe says:

Stop letting screens suck your time away! Choose an amount of time to have screen time (iphone, ipad, or other device) or TV time (can include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc). For example max time of 1 hour, 45min, or 30min per day.

And last but NEVER least, in the Short Term Accountability Guild: Inbox Inspiration!

Starts on: May 11
Ends on: May 20
Repeating challenge? Yes

BeanieB says:

Feel like you spend all day responding to emails? Getting overwhelmed with the emails you need to write? Inbox overflowing? Use this challenge to get your inbox under control!

Got a challenge you’d like to share with us and the rest of the Habitica community? Submit it here at the Challenge Spotlight Submission Form. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

WEEKLY STATUS REPORT: Heartbreaker Item Set and Phoenixes!

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The Time Travelers have returned from the past, bearing some rare Phoenix Pets and Mounts from last fall’s World Boss battle.

To unlock the Phoenixes, you’ll need mystic hourglasses, which are awarded to people who have been subscribers for more than 3 consecutive months.

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Plus, the February Subscriber Item has been revealed: the Heartbreaker Item Set! All February subscribers will receive the Heartbreaker Cape and the Heartbreaker Hood. Today is the final day to subscribe and receive the item set!

Thank you so much for your support – we really do rely on you to keep Habitica free to use and running smoothly.

WEEKLY STATUS REPORT: Beeminder Guest Post and Party Hats

 

There’s a new guest post on our blog about the awesome Beeminder-Habitica integration, just in time for resolution season! Be sure to check it out if you want an extra sting to keep yourself motivated.

PartyHatPromo

Plus, in honor of the new year, some free Party Hats are available in the Rewards store! New users get the ever-handsome Absurd Party Hat, and users who already received one last year get the Silly Party Hat or the new Ridiculous Party Hat. These hats will be available to purchase until January 31st, but once you’ve bought them, you’ll have them forever. Enjoy!

WEEKLY STATUS REPORT: WINTER WONDERLAND AND UNICORN QUEST

Between now and January 31st, Habiticans are partying in the snow! More goodies will be coming as the event progresses, but here’s the fun so far:

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Limited edition outfits are available for gold in the Rewards column during this event. Depending on your class, you can be a Cocoa Rogue, Snowboarding Sorcerer, Snow Day Warrior, or Festive Fairy! You’d better get productive to earn enough Gold before they disappear. Good luck!

 

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Plus, the Seasonal Shop has opened! The Seasonal Sorceress is stocking the seasonal edition versions of previous winter outfits, now available for Gems instead of Gold, and the two winter quests, Trapper Santa and Find the Cub. There will be more fun things in the shop as the event progresses. The Seasonal Shop will only be open until January 31st, so don’t wait!

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Finally, there’s a new pet quest in the Quest Shop: Convincing the Unicorn Queen! It will take a unicorn to purify the waters of Conquest Creek, but that means hiking through the frigid peaks of the Meandering Mountains. Can you prove to the Unicorn Queen that your cause is worthy? If so, you’ll earn some unicorn eggs!